I’ve got a secret…
I am not a neat freak. I was never the super clean roommate. Neither was my husband, unfortunately. This makes for a difficult pairing, when neither one of us has the drive to organize and clean. Inevitably, I am the one who loses at the game of “chicken” that is keeping our house tidy. I am the one who attacks the clutter eventually. When we do get to the point of doing a manic, frantic cleaning, it feels sooo good. But on a day-to-day basis, my home definitely does not look like it belongs in a magazine, to say the least.
For better or worse, now that I’m a mom I have so many reasons why my house isn’t clean. After all, it’s been said that “good moms have sticky floors, messy kitchens, laundry piles, dirty ovens, and happy kids.”
Here are just a few of the reasons my house is a mess:
1. It’ll only get messy again
It’s hard to find the motivation to clean when I know it will only get messy again. There is momentary bliss when I clean up the clutter, but, inevitably, it’s right back there again 20 minutes later. I love that my daughter plays, takes out all her stuffed animals, and reads 20 books at a time. What I don’t love is the time it takes to put everything away. Yes, “clean up” is part of our nightly routine. But, somehow, her things seem to multiply.
2. My daughter wants to read a book
I work four days a week, and I treasure the time I get at home with my daughter. If I’m feeling driven to do a chore, and she says, “Mommy read,” then Mommy reads. No dishes are more important than reading to my girl. Or dancing with my girl. Or, actually, doing anything with my girl.
3. I’d rather spend money on things other than a cleaning lady
Some of my friends and family have suggested we get a cleaning lady — it would make our lives a lot easier! But, like most things in life, cleaning services cost money. This is money that could be used on gym classes for my daughter, a trip to Cape Cod, a massage (a girl can dream). And, the truth is, when I finally reach my breaking point, my husband and I do a pretty good job.
4. My daughter’s in bed for the night
If my daughter’s in bed for the night, I’m likely not far behind. It’s been a long day at work, followed by the rush to play with her, cook dinner, and put her to bed. Or, it’s been a wonderful, adventure-filled day with her, which is way more satisfying, but also way more exhausting. Either way, my first thought when she’s in bed is Netflix. My last thought? “I need to scrub the tub.”
I’ve heard it said that you can have two of three things: a clean house, happy kids, or your sanity. Ultimately, I will forego the clean house. In the meantime, when you come over we’ll keep the lights dim so you can’t see the clutter. And please consider the dust bunnies my pets. Don’t worry — they won’t bite.